Abstract Rees

2010: Comparing and Contrasting Věci veřejné in the Czech Republic and the Tea Party Movement in the USA

Matthew Ch. Rees

Abstract: This paper analyzes the development of the Tea Party Movement in the USA and Věci veřejné in the Czech Republic. It argues that historical institutionalism’s twin pillars of path dependency and rational choice theory can help to account for the growth of these two phenomena, and, within this framework, attempts to explain the differences in mobilization strategies and similarities in goals of the two groups. This paper analyzes information technology as a mobilization aid as well, and how this type of mobilization benefits diffuse anti-rent-seeking coalitions. Ultimately, the paper finds that formation and consolidation of the Tea Party Movement and Věci veřejné differ due to variations in electoral systems of the USA and the Czech Republic; their similarities spring from their corresponding rational-choice calculations concerning governmental financing of services.

Keywords: Historical Institutionalism, Mobilization, Path Dependency, Rent-Seeking, Tea Party Movement, Věci veřejné